Clinton schools, CIEG sign second-year contract

In this February file photo, students of Confucius International Education Group and Clinton High School perform during a Chinese New Year Celebration. The Clinton School Board approved a contract with CIEG on Monday for a second year of collaboration. Clinton Herald file photo

CLINTON — After a successful first-year partnership between the Clinton School District and the Confucius International Education Group, the two sides have re-upped for a second year.

The contract partnering the two was officially approved at Monday night's Clinton School Board meeting, sealing another yearlong relationship between the school district and the China-based entity that has placed international students in Clinton to take advantage of American public school opportunities.

According to Clinton School District Superintendent Gary DeLacy, the contract calls for a per-pupil payment directly from students' families of $6,916, with officials forecasting 45 new students ahead of the 2019-2020 school year – that's on top of the 16 students who studied in Clinton last school year.

Last year's partnership proved beneficial for both sides, DeLacy said, easily prompting another yearlong agreement.

"I think we saw that the two sides of the contract experienced positives from the deal last year," DeLacy said. "We were able to use (the CIEG campus) for classes, and our international students were able to use the Clinton High School Campus in a number of ways and classes. Both sides were thrilled with the results, so a second year wasn't really in question."

DeLacy called the two-way benefits "in-kind" contributions, showing a mutual cooperation between his district and the CIEG. Though potentially nearly 50 new international students could be on the horizon for the 2019-2020 year, no staffing additions are necessary to accommodate the influx, DeLacy said. Those arrangements were sorted out during talks before the first-year contract was made.

The district will continue to provide transportation services to and from Clinton High School and the New Six Arts International Education Park, which inhabits the former Mount St. Clare College and Ashford University bluff-top campus as part of the agreement.

Officials such as DeLacy are content with the one-year contract, but the superintendent hinted Tuesday morning said that it's not out of the question to see a more long-term deal between the two sides in the future. For the time being, however, single-year agreements offer benefits that may not be afforded otherwise.

"I think it's fair to say that both sides are still learning because it's still early on in this process, in the grand scheme of things," DeLacy said. "The one-year contracts give everyone involved a sense of flexibility that the longer-term contracts might not. But we've seen success with our first year, so that actually leads us to believe that a long-term contract could be in the future of this partnership."